December 1, 2008

Tis the Season...

Dear Friends,


I'm sorry I'm a day late on my promised post. Yesterday, Ryan and I spent the day decorating our home for the Christmas holidays. This has always been one of our favorite times of the year with the both of us eagerly awaiting the holiday season! Each year, Ryan and I make a big production of putting on our Santa caps, turning up the Christmas music, and unpacking boxes of decorations, ornaments and lights. It's a day of "holiday preparations" complete with eggnog and home baked cookies. I think this year we probably over indulged in the sweets, though..as we both went to bed with stomach aches!

As soon as Ryan got home from the fire station yesterday morning, we headed off to find the perfect Christmas tree! And, although, our trek only took us as far as the Home Depot parking lot, we carefully picked through the selection of fresh cut trees to find the perfect one. Ryan was such a good sport...patiently indulging my requests to pick up and twirl seemingly dozens of trees so that we could be sure of selecting one with no bald spots! My poor husband is usually covered in sap and pine needles by the time we are confident that we have the right tree! It's a big event for us every year and loads of fun! It's funny to watch people stare at us as we break out in spontaneous "Charlie Brown" dancing (you know what I'm talking about) to the Christmas music blaring over the speaker system... We love Christmas!



Even our dogs, Maccloud and Roxie, eagerly anticipate the coming holiday! As soon as I hang their stockings on the fireplace mantel, they maintain a steady vigil...constantly sniffing and nudging each stocking for treats and toys. We always get a chuckle when Ryan and I come home after being gone for a while...only to find Christmas presents removed from under the tree and laying around the living room. Although, the presents are never opened, curiosity and excitement seem to get the best of our dogs at times... Just like children I've always said!

At any rate, like every year in the past, this year was a buzz with activity... I blanketed table tops with garland and candles... Ryan hung lights...and we decorated our little tree...fussing over every little detail.

I wasn't sure how I would handle the events of the day. Most certainly, I thought I would fore go any kind of celebration this year, especially since Christian died only a short time ago. But, it is because of my son that Ryan and I have maintained the traditions we've so thoughtfully crafted over the years. Christian would have loved Christmas time!

There were several moments throughout the day when my thoughts wandered to my son...Tears filled my eyes as I thought about how he would have loved all the twinkling lights on the tree. By now, my son would have been able to focus a little more clearly and would, probably, have wondered what all the activity was about.. I can picture his little head wobbly and unsteady as he gazed up at his mom and dad... These pictures are so clear in my mind... It's hard to believe... still...that he is gone.

Ryan says that as long as we have vivid memories of Christian...he will always live on in our hearts...and he will always have a presence in our lives. I know he is in heaven and I know he is well, but the selfish part of me wishes that I could hold him again...even if only for a moment. I hardly let myself wish for these things anymore because the emptiness I feel is so overwhelming. The sting of loss so great is still fresh on my heart...and I will never forget my son. When he died, part of me died too. But, at least I have my memories...

This year, our Christmas tree over looks Christian's garden. Instead of my son snuggled in my arms this season, I must find comfort in knowing that he is in a better place. I'll admit, it's not always easy to do. On most days, I struggle with my emotions...always ready to give into the despair that has gripped my heart. Of course, my son and his precious memory always rescues me from my sad thoughts. I cling to the knowledge that I will see my son again one day...I just never thought my life would turn out this way. I miss him so much. I know my son is watching over us... and laughing over our silly antics of the day. And I'm glad for that.

Love,

Leah

11 comments:

Lisa said...

Hi Leah - It is great hearing that you and Ryan are enjoying the holidays together. I know it is a hard and difficult time, but you have each other and that is the best thing. Just think that your tree will shine brightly through that window that overlooks Christian's garden and he will be able to enjoy it along with you both. He will be your star on top of that Christmas tree!! Happy Holidays to you both.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. You don't know me but your blog is on my google reader and I've been following you for a few months. I always love to read your updates because I feel like you are real in your blog. If you are having a good day, you say that and don't feel like every entry has to be sad but if you are having a rough day you tell us how much your heart is breaking and missing your BEAUTIFUL son. Christian is having the most incredible Christmas celebration this year. I bet God has super sparkly lights up in heaven this year for Christian to enjoy! I'm glad you are finding ways to enjoy the season knowing that's what Christian would want because he sure is enjoying it with Jesus:-) I pray for you every day. Stay hopeful.
Nicole

Taylor said...

I thought those very same things... how my son would have loved to stare at the lights with wonder. We lost our baby in June. He had Trisomy 13. I can completely relate to everything you wrote!

Penny said...

So glad to see a post. So glad to see that you are able to enjoy the holidays ..... even with the sting that comes along with them. You are right about Christian watching down with joy seeing Mom and Dad happy and being silly. Keep those traditions alive. I hope that your hearts are being healed together and that time is allowing you to become close again.

As always I enjoyed seeing your post and reading your thoughtful words.

We are so blessed all of us.

walkingbyfaith said...

I am so, so happy to hear that you and Ryan were able to keep with your Christmas decorating tradition. I know there were probably hard moments, but you're right..Christian was probably looking down on the two of you and laughing.

Hugs!

sea star said...

I've been thinking about you alot lately Leah.

I love your Christmas spirit and can picture Ryan and you picking out the perfect tree with much joy and laughter.

Come by on Friday night if you like, a bunch of gals are getting their crafty self on at my clubhouse.

Kathy said...

Leah,

I wish I lived near you and Ryan! You two are sooooo amazing and fun!!! Perhaps I could send some snow down for you to complete your Christmasy home? I would be happy to! :~)

I pray that this Christmas is as merry as possible for you. You two so deserve it and Christian would want it for you. May God bless you precious friend!
Kathy

Carla Burlando said...

Good to hear from you again :) Your Christmas stuff sounds fun. I love getting ready for Christmas too. This year we are heading out on a road trip to WA state to stay with family over Christmas...thats about a 20 hr drive with 3 kids. All I can say is thank God for Dvd players! It will be different to be away from home on Christmas morning.
I hope that this Christmas season would be a special one even with the constant reminders of what might have been. You are doind well to keep up with the traditions and festivities this far...maybe it will prove to be a good distraction :) take care girl.

Carla Burlando said...

Good to hear from you again :) Your Christmas stuff sounds fun. I love getting ready for Christmas too. This year we are heading out on a road trip to WA state to stay with family over Christmas...thats about a 20 hr drive with 3 kids. All I can say is thank God for Dvd players! It will be different to be away from home on Christmas morning.
I hope that this Christmas season would be a special one even with the constant reminders of what might have been. You are doind well to keep up with the traditions and festivities this far...maybe it will prove to be a good distraction :) take care girl.

Robin said...

Leah, I pray you guys have a wonderful Christmas together!

Becky said...

Leah - My heart was gladdened to hear that you and Ryan made some new memories this year to add to those of Christmases past. Our pets love Christmas stockings too. Our lab mix always has to greet us with something in his mouth and the cats always find their catnip by ripping through their stocking. Christian would have loved the lights - perhaps he still is because the Bible talks about their being windows in Heaven. Although you do not know me, your blog has touched my heart and I pray for you. Take care Leah.